‘Sanctuary’ Church Reportedly Pays $15,000 To Free Migrant From Rikers Island

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A “sanctuary” church paid $15,000 in bail Tuesday to free a migrant being held at Rikers Island.

Rev. Juan Ruiz of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge posted the $15,000 bail of Yohenry Brito, one of the illegal immigrant suspects who allegedly beat two New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers on Jan. 27, the New York Post (NYP) reported.

“Our church is basically a sanctuary,” Ruiz informed the outlet Wednesday. “We assume that people are innocent until they are proven otherwise.”

Brito is not staying at Ruiz’s church now that he has been released from prison, the pastor said, according to the NYP. The district attorney reportedly suggested setting bail at $15,000 cash or $50,000 bond for the suspect because he was the alleged instigator of the incident and was already facing misdemeanor cases. Brito was expected to face the court on an indictment of assault this week, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Woman Hosting Illegal Migrant At Her Home Reportedly Says Experience Is Like Having ‘Personal Chef’)

Ruiz said there was a “politically charged context” in Brito’s case, stating that “there is a lot more than what is being publicized” about the alleged attack, the outlet reported.

“Sanctuary gives you that kind of breathing space,” Ruiz reportedly said.

Brito is one of seven migrants charged following the alleged assault of an NYPD lieutenant and a police officer in Times Square, according to the NYP. Yorman Reveron, Jhoan Borada, Wilson Juarez, Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel and Kelvin Servita Arocha were reportedly released without bail after being charged with assaulting a police officer and obstructing an official investigation.

Yarwuin Madris, who was also charged, was the second of the seven to be held in jail, the NYP reported. He was reportedly arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court for assault where the judge held him without bail.

Juarez and Arocha were present inside the New York City apartment where Madris was arrested, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said Wednesday, according to the outlet. The two migrants were reportedly in the custody of federal immigration authorities, the office added.